Ron and Don: Refs don’t stand a chance against players like Kessel

Ron and Don talk about the Senators and Penguins faking injuries and Pekka Rinne having bad luck with tipped pucks, plus much more news from around the NHL.

If there’s a job in the National Hockey League that seems daunting in the extreme, Don Cherry thinks it’s the task of figuring out who is faking it and who isn’t.

“I feel sorry for referees,” Cherry said during a segment of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada.

Players seem to be embellishing to draw calls, which Cherry attributes to the lack of fighting in games these days. “The funny thing is, there’s no more fighting,” he said, but players are instead “whacking” each other with their sticks.

“You should be happy, you sweethearts that don’t like fighting,” he said. “But let’s see what’s in the game now.”

“The guys really put it on,” Cherry added, explaining that it’s become almost impossibly difficult for referees to determine whether a penalty is warranted.

“Referees don’t know what the heck’s going on,” he said. “Is the guy really hit or is he not?”

The segment of Coach’s Corner then showed a clip of Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel getting “whacked” on the left hand. In the clip, Kessel promptly brings up his right hand in apparent agony.

“He brings the right one up as if he’s hurt,” Cherry said.

“Referees don’t stand a chance,” he added. “They don’t know who’s faking and who’s not faking. It is too tough on them right now.”